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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking a week-end or 3-day spey adventure on this little GL gem in October perhaps. I would prefer to fly to Buffalo and rent a car but another option is to rent a van and car pool from MA / NH with a small group which works out to be peanuts per person (did it before to Pulaski and it was fun, cheap and there was tons of room for gear).

I will have plenty of loaner rods available if anyone wants to try them. Spey casting instruction will be available for those interested, in-context on the river and in situations where the casting style excels.

The Catt is known to be a smokin' steelhead fishery and is a good venue for spey rods and fishing.

It's not Terrace BC but we could do some quality spey fishing on a shoestring budget. Any interest?
 

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Indian Land...

The Catt is excellent... however, most of the good fishing water and a large portion of the property it is on Indian Land, and special permits are required. Not that it is, in itself, a problem - just wondering if the Indians would have any objections to having a clave on or near their property.

BobK
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #4
There is a lot of water off reservation, no? Also, this would be more of a day use event as opposed to us setting up a tent city per se - hence "mini-clave".
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #5
How about Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area?
 

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I live in upstate NY between Buffalo and Rochester. I actually prefer the Zoar Valley stretch, although many would disagree with me. It also has plenty of space for a mini clave. I know a few guys in the rochester area who would love the opportunity to have a gathering so close to home.

The Catt does blow out very easily but there are some alternativel locations in NY if it blew out on you.

Let me know if I can help.

Gillie
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #7
If we do this in early October, I assume the lower stretch will have more fish in it. How is the first stretch below the reservation near the mouth?

If we do this in late October, the weather will be less accomodating but there should be fish through the system and the Zoar area should be productive, am I guessing correctly?

Also we should keep in mind that most of this is about spey casting and not just fishing, although the fact that such a productive system is available should enhance the experience for those who want to fish. Most likely by the time we schedule events the fishing will be the day before/after and mornings and evenings.

And so another spey gathering is born...
 

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Early October is my best bet, so if it should be scheduled around that time I'll do my best to attend. The weekends of the 17th and 24th are out for me, since Denise and I are both turning 30 on those dates (and in that order, ha ha :smokin: ), and I think that there are rumors of a large "gathering" (with a few beverages) sometime in between. If the clave ends up being during those dates, no problem, I'll have to catch you guys at the next one.
 

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Juro, I consider the Catt one of my home waters. One caveat that has been mentioned is that it can be blown out quite easily. It is a large watershed with a grey clay banks and shale bottom. The Zoar Valley is excellent, but there is a lot of posted property and IMHO would not be ideal for speycasting.

The reservation from Versailles to the mouth is ideal for speycasting. Even if it is blownout, demos can be conducted. There are several locations that you can drive to the bank of the stream with a variety of water conditions to swing spey flies. Currently a reservation license is $35. Outside the reservation you need a NY license, about the same for a non-resident season license.

Accommodations are available in Gowanda, and are reasonable. There is a nice B&B on the reservation.

Incidentally, the Catt has natural reproduction in two of its tribs, Clear and Spooner creeks. In addition to steelhead, it is becoming a brown trout fishery.

Driving distance from the Cape is about 8 hours, all interstate. Let me know if you need additional info.

Simms
 

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jimS,

I don't fish the Catt very often but your post raised a question for me. I have fished in the multi use Zoar Valley area on a number of occasions. Based on the DEC web site I thought I was on public access land. Is there posted land within that area that I shouldn't be on ?

Gillie
 

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Gillie, just north of Gowanda the land is posted. The area below the DNR parking area is open, but upstream there is a lot of posted property. I do fish some of that property, but it is during the week and haven't had any problems so far. Be careful.

Simms
 

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I'm sure you could get on the Seneca water without much fuss provided the other (bait) fishermen will give you room. There are some wider pools that make for good spey water. There's also some nice water right in Gowanda that's wide enough. You can also move into Canada to the Grand River if the Catt is blown.

I'd check with Charlie (on this board) Brian Slavinsky (who checks the board often) to make sure the run is in that early. Early October can be great, or can be really weak. Those guys have a pretty good feel for what the year is going to be like.

Oddly enough, I'm going to be on the Deschutes and Clearwater those first few weeks this fall. I plan on waiting for November this year for the Catt after a few dry Octobers.

-Chris
 

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I'm interested depending on the dates. My steelhead fishing has been limited to the Salmon River and surrounding tribs so it would be great to see some new water. I'm dying to try swinging some flies too.
 

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I'm not a Catt expert but some of the following might help.

To me the steelhead part of the river - the lower 35 miles or so below an impassable dam in Springville - can be divided into 4 sections. The first is a short segment from the river mouth to the Rte 90 bridge. There are rock jetties on both sides of the mouth of the river. In this section the river iis wide, slow-moving, and not very scenic. The water is usually well off-color or simply muddy. The north bank is on Seneca Nation land. The south bank is not, from the mouth to the Rtes 5&20 bridge. This water can be very productive for a fly fisherman early in the run when the water is not too off-color.

The next 12 miles or so is one of the best steelhead flyfishing sections in NY, also in the earlier stages of the run & when the water is in decentish shape (which it is some of the time), and when the crowds are down (increasingly less and less of the time). Much of the bottom is gravel and there are a good number of pools, riffles, chutes, etc. This entire stretch is on Seneca Nation land. One can access virtually the entire stretch of SN-bordered river after purchasing a SN fishing license. Last year's price was $35 for an annual license, with discounts for seniors & disabled. There were no shorter-term licenses available lthrough last year.

There are no formal parking lots in this stretch, by the way. A Route 438 roughly parallels the river. Dirt lanes here and there, some of which run down to the river's edge where one parks wherever the land is flat enough. Other dirt lanes turn out to be driveways.... Some require a 4WD, or make you wish you had one, especially when it's rained recently.

The SN land ends just short of the lower bridge in the village of Gowanda. At the upstream end of the village is a railroad bridge. There are a fair number of people who fish just around these bridges. About half a mile above the railroad bridge is a 5-6 mile stretch that runs through a gorge in what is mostly state land, the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area. This is by far the nicest stretch of river to fish with canyon walls up to 300 feet, some old growth trees, and with very little sign of man's presence. It is a hit-or-miss section catching-wise, tho, since fish tend to blast through it.

Further upstream the river flows through a narrow valley. Much of this section is posted. However, the state has acquired several miles' worth of access rights. At the upstream end of the stretch is the impassable Scoby Dam and a fishermen's park to make it easy to get at the fish that stack up there. There are decent pools and runs scattered throughout this stretch of river. Several of the most productive are now off limits (I've been told).

Some of the Catt's feeder creeks also receive some steelhead.

The NY state web site I've cited below (no, it's *not* commercial) shows the public access sections of the Catt from Gowanda upstream to Scoby Dam (the park is not shown because it's relatively new).

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/fish/pfr/cattcreeksteelhead.pdf
 

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Greg,

On the link you provided the Multi use area is in green. Is that entire section state land and open to public access ?

Gillie
 

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I don't know, Gillie. I've covered about 2 and a half miles within
the green area during the last two years and didn't see any signs
on the land along the water. Much of the land bordering that *is*
posted, however. For example, if you look at Map C, you'll see a
parking area at the end of Valentine Flats Road. The parking area
is on the north side of the road. There are posted signs all along
the south side of the road which, as is clear on the map, is not part
of the state area.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #18
Greg -

That's excellent info thanks!!!
 

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I would definetly be interested. I purchased a CND custom rod last fall and could use some proffesional help to unlocking its casting secrets.I have been waiting for a clave to come close enough for me to participate in. I live just each of Rochester and would offer a car pool situation to anyone interested. I have fished the Catt. a couple of times and it would be a good stream for such an event if the water levels will cooperate. Keep me posted. Dan
 
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